About Cora F.

Hi! I’m Cora. I’m a student at Santa Cruz High School and love to read. Besides my obsession with books, I also enjoy playing lacrosse and soccer throughout the year. I love art and drawing and painting (though I may not be the best at it). I also love math of all types. My favorite book of all time is The Stand by Stephen King.

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Sharon M. Draper’s book, Out Of My Mind has been read by many an elementary student, along with other great reads like Wonder and The Report Card, but it was this book that stood out to me when we read it as a class. It was so well written and so smart and witty that I couldn’t help but read ahead in class. I had read a few books about physically disabled kids and even more about some exceptionally smart ones, but combining the two into a relateable and fabulous story really clicked with me.
Melody is a middle schooler with cerebral palsy and a photographic memory, who cannot walk or talk and doesn’t have much control over her own body. Though bits of the book are definitely about Melody’s smarts, a lot of it focuses on the social dynamics of being a person struggling with a physical disability. When she is placed in an integrated classroom, where she is one of the brightest students, many dismiss her as “mentally challenged” before giving her a chance to prove herself. Even teachers at her school dismissed this way, though not as cruelly as her fellow classmates. Though this book is targeted to kids in 5th-8th grade, if you are older, it is a worthwhile read.

Our Stories, Our Voices

Our Stories, Our Voices, a
collection of essays and anecdotes about “injustice, empowerment, and growing up female in America” by 21 YA authors, is an incredible assortment of empowering pieces that truly describe both the large and small struggles of growing up as a woman in the U.S.
Each story presents a different outlook, as each woman has a different background and grew up with contrasting world views and distinct religious views. These essays explore everything from rape to racism, from gender to feminism, and from faith to weight.
Each piece finishes with an empowering message which encourages young people to believe that their voices and words really do matter and that they can make a difference, no matter how small they feel. Though there are many stories in this book preaching the
same message, it doesn’t seem repetitive. Instead, each note of empowerment strengthens the last one, encouraging young women (and others) that they really matter and that they can stand up for what they believe. This is such an important book for women all
over America, and even around the world, to read and connect with. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs encouragement in believing that they matter or anyone who wants to read stories of women overcoming discrimination of every type.

By: Aisha Saeed, Alexandra Duncan, Amber Smith, Anna-Marie McLemore, Brandy Colbert, Christine Day, Ellen Hopkins, Hannah Moskowitz, I. W. Gregorio, Jaye Robin Brown, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Julie Murphy, Martha Brockenbrough, Maurene Goo, Nina LaCour, Sandhya Menon, Somaiya Daud, Sona Charaipotra, Stephanie Kuehnert, and Tracy Deonn Walker